Cozumel Boat trip – Columbia Reef & El Cielo

We love to explore close to home, and we’re lucky that our current home is a tropical island in the Caribbean. Rob’s parents were recently visiting us on Cozumel, and we had to show off some of our favourite places on the island. One of the greatest ways to see the island is by boat, and a short trip along the coast will take you to some incredible places. Two of these places can be explored in the same day, on the same trip, and a boat trip to El Cielo (with a stop to snorkel at the Columbia Reef) is the best we have done so far.

El Cielo (and Columbia Reef) are both parts of the protected area located on Cozumel – the Arrecife de Cozumel National Park – which protects this unique and diverse fragile reef ecosystems on the coast. This reef is part of the larger Mesoamerican Barrier reef System that stretches from Cancun to Honduras, which is the second largest in the world behind the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

We have been to Columbia Reef before, and our first time visiting this wonderful location – Snorkeling on Cozumel – Columbia Reef – was quite amazing. The amount of sea life you can see on these adventures is quite spectacular. On this most recent trip, we saw a baby shark, a sea turtle, and a sting-ray, as well as having another chance to explore the amazing reef and the many colourful fish that call this place home.

Posing for my picture at Columbia Reef. 2019.

El Cielo (translated into English as “the sky”) is named because of how crystal blue the water is, which mirrors the blue sky above. This shallow sandbar is located on the south-west side of the island (between Palancar and Punta Sure) located inside the national park and is famous for starfish, which we saw plenty of.

When you live on an island surrounded by amazing reefs, you have to explore these places as often as possible, and our most recent adventure was worth it for sure. Exploring under the sea will never get old. There are so many great underwater destinations on the island that will knock your socks off. The underwater world is unlike anything else you can experience. Especially for Rob’s parents, who had never explored anywhere like this before.

Most of these boat trips include snacks and all you can drink Margaritas, so its a pretty good all-inclusive adventure. We went with the Tiger Cozumel Adventures, and the team was amazing. A five-star experience, and one we will definitely recommend to anyone looking to explore the waters off Cozumel. They had a really great photographer as well, who was able to capture some great pics of us in (and under) the water, which helped to solidify this trip with some unforgettable memories.

Starfish at El Cielo. 2019.

Cozumel Boat Trip – Columbia Reef

Part One of our Cozumel Boat Trip, featuring our visit to Columbia Reef. We began this adventure at Fontador Marina (just south of San Miguel), where we met the crew and set off for the calm seas. We picked up a few people from docks along the way, and off we went.

We spent about 30 minutes floating above, and free diving towards this incredible reef. It’s like swimming in an aquarium. The amount of sea life you can see on these trips is quite spectacular. On this most recent trip, we saw a baby shark, a sea turtle, and a sting-ray, as well as having another chance to explore the amazing reef and the many colourful fish that call this place home. It was just another one of the unforgettable things you can do on Cozumel.

Cozumel Boat trip – Columbia Reef. 2019.

Cozumel Boat Trip – El Cielo

Part Two of our Cozumel Boat Trip, featuring our visit to El Cielo. After spending some time underwater exploring Columbia Reef, it was time to head towards the sandbar of El Cielo, one of the most famous destinations on Cozumel.

El Cielo (translates into English as “the sky”) is named because of how crystal blue the water is, which mirrors the blue sky above. This shallow sandbar is located on the south-west side of the island (between Palancar and Punta Sure) located inside the national park and is famous for starfish, which we saw plenty of. After this, we found another spot to park for a bit, where we enjoyed Margaritas and even got to watch as a few Sting Rays swam below.

Cozumel Boat Trip – El Cielo. 2019.
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